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Die Hard (1988)

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An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director:

John McTiernan

Writers:

Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
351 ( 43)
Top Rated Movies #121 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia ... Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald VelJohnson ... Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason ... Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
William Atherton ... Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner ... Harry Ellis
James Shigeta ... Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
Alan Rickman ... Hans Gruber
Alexander Godunov ... Karl
Bruno Doyon Bruno Doyon ... Franco
De'voreaux White ... Argyle
Andreas Wisniewski ... Tony
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ... Theo
Joey Plewa Joey Plewa ... Alexander
Lorenzo Caccialanza ... Marco
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Storyline

NYPD cop John McClane goes on a Christmas vacation to visit his wife Holly in Los Angeles where she works for the Nakatomi Corporation. While they are at the Nakatomi headquarters for a Christmas party, a group of robbers led by Hans Gruber take control of the building and hold everyone hostage, with the exception of John, while they plan to perform a lucrative heist. Unable to escape and with no immediate police response, John is forced to take matters into his own hands. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Christmas Eve In L.A. And The Party Action's About To Explode... On The Fortieth Floor! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$601,851, 17 July 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,008,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,767,956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several people involved with this movie also have also worked on the Ghostbusters movies. William Atherton played Walter Peck and Reginald VelJohnson had a small part in the original Ghostbusters (1984). Richard Edlund also worked on the special effects on the first Ghostbusters as well. Wilhelm von Homburg (James) would go on to play Vigo The Carpathian in Ghostbusters II (1989). See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film Hans is holding onto Holly's wrist by her Rolex watch (mentioned in the dialog early in the film). To release Hans to fall to the ground, John flips the clasp on the watch and it falls from her wrist, allowing Hans to fall. Rolex watches do not have such a clasp. They are a continuous loop, and are merely loosened for removal by a clasp which effectively increases the size of the loop. The strap is shown to be a non-continuous piece. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Businessman: You don't like flying, do you?
John McClane: What gives you that idea?
Businessman: You wanna know the secret to surviving air travel? After you get where you're going, take off your shoes and your socks then walk around on the rug bare foot and make fists with your toes.
John McClane: Fists with your toes?
Businessman: I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Trust me, I've been doing it for nine years. Yes sir, better than a shower and a hot cup of coffee.
John McClane: Okay.
[the businessman sees John's gun]
John McClane: It's okay, I'm a cop. Trust me, I've been ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the widescreen version, the 20th Century Fox logo is stretched. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Ultimate edition DVD contains the following deleted/extended scenes:
  • Extended power shutdown sequence.
  • Extended opening flight scene.
  • Brief dialogue in the first Hans/McClane confrontation.
  • Extended scene where Robinson/Powell brief the FBI on the tower situation.
  • Brief dialogue when Hans interrogates Takagi.
  • Brief dialogue after Theo says "You didn't bring me along for my charming personality".
  • Extended/alternate dialogue in McClane/Powell conversation after McClane uses the plastic explosives.
  • Brief scene of FBI agents getting stuck in thorn bushes as they make their way towards the building.
  • At the end, McClane says "You got a warranty for this (Holly's watch, a gift from Ellis)?" to which Holly laughs.
  • Argyle's dialogue as Powell's police cruiser flies by in the background.
  • Brief Ellis dialogue reacting to the terrorist intrusion.
  • City engineer briefly coughs before pulling out the power cord.
  • Brief dialogue in Hans/Karl argument about "neutralizing" McClane.
  • Additional Holly dialogue after seeing Karl's reaction to McClane's escape.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hard Boiled (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Skeletons
Written and Performed by Stevie Wonder
Courtesy of Motown Record Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Ladies and gentleman, Mr.Bruce Willis, Movie Star
6 March 2003 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

DIE HARD (1988) **** Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Alexander Godunov, Reginald Vel Johnson, William Atherton, Paul Gleason, Hart Bochner, Robert Davi. NYC cop John McClane (Willis in his star-making iconic role) is visiting LA at Christmas to reconnect with his estranged wife Bedelia who is at an office party that becomes a nightmare when a group of terrorists take over the building led by Hans Gruber (perfect Rickman) a German nutjob out to filch millions in bonds in the vault of the Japanese company. As the " fly in the ointment", Willis does his damnedest to stop him at all costs relying on his street-smarts and out-guessing as time ticks away. Great blend of action suspense and much welcomed humor. Best bit: Willis plunging from a rooftop attack by the FBI (thinking the disheveled cop is one of the bad guys!) attached to a fire hose and shooting his way into an empty office! Hair-raising and exhilirating fun for all. "Yippiee-Kay-Ay !!!!" (Dir: John McTiernan)


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